Pi StoriesOf

Eulogy - Jeffrey Smith

I stand before you today, both as myself, and as representative of a group of individuals, of which Mike was an integral part. The MUD, the online world he filled with his presence, was a place where people loved and respected Pi, just as they did in real life. As the owner, I offered those who knew him online, those who struck up friendships with him over the last few years, an opportunity to speak, through me. They all wanted to attend, but they live in all parts of the country, and some in other countries. But regardless of where they live, they all knew him, called him friend, and mourn his loss as we all do.

Tathlyn (Michael) "Even though I did not know him IRL, I only knew him on the mud, he was a good man. One I will miss."

Neo (Anthony) "The one thing that I will always remember is that he was always cheerful and that he was liked and loved by everyone that he knew. The greatest loss of our family ever will be the loss of Mike, and we will always remember him."

Hemlock (Daniel) "He had always held himself well, light-hearted and jovial, and so full of life. It is ironic that in times of national fear and loss, we as people tend to remember the negative, but in times of personal loss, we remember only the fond memories. He uplifted people with his spirit, and made people forget their troubles for a brief time. Life is truly brief, and I truly hope that everyone's life and memories are as cherished as grandly as we remember Mike."

Cyng (Tom) "I really don't have much to say, because there is too much to say. You may have known him for years and years, and that may make it all the more difficult for you. I knew him as a screen name for maybe 5 years, and only met him in person twice. But that, in turn, makes it all the more difficult for me, because I now know that that was all the time I was given to get to know him, and now I know that it was not nearly enough. I mourn for the loss of the person I could have known. What I did know about him was that he was one of the sweetest men I have ever met, who never got enough hugs, enough true connecting with people, who never got told, "Despite what you may think, you are a truly good man," nearly often enough. I just wish I had been able to give more of myself to him. If anybody deserved acceptance, affirmation, and welcome, it was Mike."

Kayleith (Felicia) "My thoughts, they are many and few.

What can you say? I'm sure you will say all there is. I don't want to say goodbye, just "so long" until we see him again. I'm sorry, that is all I can think of. You will speak on his friendship, his character, all that is important to say. It will not take away the pain of losing him, but ease our grief, draw us closer still in the common bond of his friendship. I hold regrets. The regrets of missing him by just an hour or two, of not telling him how thankful I was that he was a part of my life, even if it were for a short time. Goodbye is so final, I cannot bring myself to even whisper those words by myself. So, for me, it is not goodbye, just until I see him again. He will be a part of our family ... always.

My thoughts and strength I will send to you and all those who gather to wish him a happy journey to the next stage of his existence."

And there are more… people in New York, Idaho, Florida, Oregon, Texas, Ohio, Japan, Norway, Australia… all of their lives affected and enriched by knowing Pi.

For myself, my thoughts are simple. I feel honored. I feel honored that I was asked to speak here today, to represent those who loved him as I did. I feel honored to have been able to share his friendship and his love, and I feel deeply honored to know that I was his friend. Pi was wise, something that only became clear as I thought and thought about what I would say here today. I realized that... as our friendship deepened, there was nothing I couldn't talk to him about. Nothing I could say would cause him to react in shock, or look at me strangely... he was truly wise, knowledgeable about so many things, so open, so totally accepting... I truly have never met anyone like him, nor do I expect I ever will again. I can only hope to someday be as wise and as kind to others as he was to me.

One of the side-effects of being the people we are, Mike, myself, and most of our friends, is that we are exposed to many different ways of thinking about things, including life, death, and the afterlife. And while I remain unsure exactly what my expectations are for the afterlife, I no longer fear it, not at all. I know, deep in my heart, with a certainty that is startling to me, that whatever comes, he will be there to greet me, and to let me know there's nothing to be afraid of. He did this for all of us in life, with his kind counsel, and his memory will do that for us to our deaths, when he will once again greet us with that smile, the mischievous look in his eye, and his arms open for the hugs he always got, whether he asked for them or not. Pi, we love you. We'll try to keep on like we think you'd want us to, and hope that, if you're able and look in on us, you'll still find joy in us, as we did when you were here, and will forever in our memories.

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